Managing Direct Mailing Costs


By Carl Brown


A. Use a budget…work it…make it work for you.

B. Share in a fund drive that comes to your city. Volunteer — you will learn a lot!

C. Enroll in conferences, workshops, and seminars.

D. Get on mailing lists of professional fund raising organizations. Get samples from commercial firms, development departments, etc.  Sort your samples… save the ideas. They can become an excellent source of input.

E. Watch for the results of a two-year pilot program by the National Council of Churches called ACTS. (Authorized Contribution Transfer Service).

They are testing the program in five areas of the United States to determine the feasibility of automated donations. (Transfer funds from checking accounts to church accounts on an automated basis).

F. Watch out for legal regulations restricting fund raising in your area. Federal, State and Local Authorities are applying increasing pressure on non-profit organizations to insure proper administration of fund raising efforts. This will have direct implications on the local church.

G. Most church mailing lists begin and end with membership — perhaps including the Sunday School roles. For stewardship purposes it could be much broader than this.

Consider the following:

1. All prospects for membership (visitors, etc.)
2. Parents of children who attend. People related to your  church through some member of the family.
3. Executives of corporations in which members and friends  of the church are employed.
4. Business people located in and/or serving the church  area.
5. Political leaders from your area.
6. City, County Officials serving your area.
7. Alumni and their parents from your school.
8. Property owners nearby whose property values  are increased because the church is there.
9. Families whose lives have been touched by the pastor or  staff (funerals, weddings, etc.)

It is a constant process… adding and deleting names.

It should always be kept up to date… current…accurate. As you add or delete people from your list, let them
know it… in a personal letter.

H. Mail important fund raising materials on SATURDAY. Very few pieces are normally mailed on a Saturday, and yours will stand out.

I. Consider mailing offering envelopes out bi-monthly with a letter of encouragement (not an appeal letter) Two companies that will do it for you:


Box 420, Salem, OH 44S60

(They claim income usually increases 15-20%)

B. DUPLEX ENVELOPE COMPANY, PO Box 5445, Richmond, VA 23220



J. After a special appeal is made, be careful to send a “Thank You” letter.

A. Be prompt with your acknowledgement as @ou expected them to be.

B. Be accurate.

c. The receipt: It should be an actual Thank You Letter. Receipts are becoming less and less appropriate.

D. Keep the cycle going (Up Grade Factor).

E. Say two things:



F. Who signs?

1. Whoever signed the appeal.

2. Probably the Business Manager or Pastor.

G. Enclose another envelope…Just have them lying around the house everywhere!

H. Consider an insert, a flver.

1. About deferred giving.

2. About a little know aspect of the ministry.


A couple of items borrowed from

“Dynamics in Development” by

Robert 0. Fraley


Experience has demonstrated that for most organizations with a well-rounded Fund Raising program seeking all types of gift income, Deferred Gifts in a period of a decade constitute from 50% to 80% of that gift income. With this “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” many institutions are attempting to get
into a Deferred Gifts Program, but without proper counsel or preparation. We would offer some of the following suggestions:

1. Beware of some of the fallacies that underlie unproductive Deferred Gift Programs:

A. That an advertising program constitutes a Deferred

Gifts Program.

B. That Deferred Gifts prospecting can be done entirely by advertising.

c. That the technician (Director of Representative) will discover all the prospects.

D. That adequate follow-up can be handled by corresponde@ce.

E. That a Deferred Gift can be consu@nated in one or

two personal calls.

2. Make adequate preparation before proceedinq with your advertising including the following:

A. Setting up of complete office procedures.

B. Designing and printing of legal and office forms.

c. Designing and printing of Deferred Gifts literature.

D. Setting up of procedures for funding deferred gifts in order to comply with the Securities and Exchange, Banking and Insurance Commissions of the various stateœ.

E. Giving of adequate training to your Regional Representative who will be making personal contacts and follow up calls.

3. Explore all possible sources for donor prospects, including:

A. Old correspondence files.

B. Response coupons from advertising in your house organ, through direct mail, with inserts in receipt letters.

c. Letter inquiries from your advertising,

D. General correspondence — research your daily mail, looking for Deferred Gift “tips” such as age, death

of spouse, mention of sale of properties, health, etc.

E. Large and regular donors — personal visits to demonstrate interest and appreciation give opportunity to
introduce or underscore Deferred Gift opportunities.

F. Presentations at Estate Planning Seminars, banquets, and home meetings.

G. Referrals — your best contacts can come through satisfied Deferred Gift donors who make recommendations to the relatives and friends.

H. Contacts through your Board, missionaries in deputation, faculty in public relations meetings, students on vacations, etc.

4. Keep a careful balance between gift types:

A. The three types of gifts are:

1) Current Gifts 2) Capital Gifts 3) Deferred Gifts

B. Out of your Current Gifts Program will emerge Capital Gifts and Deferred Gifts. The programs of seeking the three types of gifts must be contemporaneous and


Deferred Gifts take work, time and patience. Cost-wise, the initial investment of time and money for your organization will be high, but over a period of time, the cost per dollar secured will be the very least of all of your Fund Raising Programs.



Most churches are under staffed…there is, however, an army of willing, if not unwary staff me@@ers, out there ready to help you at a very low cost: namely the men and women of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

perhaps the most important thing to remember in working with the Postal Service is that they are human beings and will respond warmly and helpfully to you if you are first friendly and helpful to them. I have always found the USPS easy ta get along with…a little “PR” goes a long way with them.

In considering the USPS we will consider their service by various classes of service:


A. It is a guaranteed way to send an item (letter or package) from one e-press mail post office to another express mail post office with guaranteed delivery… In most parts of the United States by 4:00 p.m. the following day.

B. The cost of the service varies with the weight and sizeof the item and the distance being sent…but, is generally betwe2@ $1p5S and $@8Tee per item. (There is a limit of up to 40 pound packages only and the same 100″ total inch measurement of the package as for first class).

c. The advantages of express mail is that it is fast and quite reliable.


A. It costs per first ounce and per ounce thereafter. (Many offices put additional 15* stamps for weight
over one ounce…note the needless loss of 2* per ounce!)

B. First Class Business Reply Mail (BRE & BRD) requires the completion of Form 3614 and an annual fee paid of $@8@80.55,00

When a Business Reply Envelope (BRE) or Business Reply Device (BRD) is returned, it will cost 12* over the regular postal rate. For an additional

$WUiOO annual accounting fee (plus funds in a deposit account) the returned item will only cost @@f in addition to the regular postage. To be economical you would need to receive a minimum of


789 BRD’s per year to break even on this savings. There is an additional savings in “nuisance” when you do not have to keep change ready to pay a postman to redeem your BRD’s.

c. First Class Mail can be certified and/or registered. It is handled through different distribution centers throughout the United States than is Second, Third and Fourth Class Mailings…Therefore, it is faster in deliver



” and regular

It is generally used for “house organs periodicals and publications.

A. To use Second Class you MUST mail on a regularly announced schedule and MUST meet certain criterion as to size, content, etc.

Most churches would be well to use Second Class on their church newsletter as per piece rate is only @*@f (as opposed to-2@-@4 each with Third Class).

B. To qualify there does not need to be a subscription price…However, a careful wording of the statement about the subscription must be used. I suggest the following which is taken from Jerry Falwell’s periodical “Faith A Flame”:

“Subscription: This publication has no subscription price. It is supported through contributions from those who have chosen voluntarily to support this ministry and its world-wide outreach. This publication accepts no commercial advertising. Contributions are tax deducted in the United States.

Address all correspondence to *”


It is commonly used for church mailings.

A. The rate is @*@* Per Piece unless the items are exceptional in weight and then it goes by weight.

B. Normally a pre-printed indicia is used on the outside of the mailing (self-mailer or envelope)… However, there is another method which is the pre-Cancelled Stamp.



To be able to use this method for Third Class Mailing, you must have:

1. A Third Class Permit

2. Complete Form 3620 (for which there is no charge)

3. Must bundle and mail as any Third Class Mailing (accompanied by Form 3620 PC)


This rate is used for parcels, books, catalogs, etc. What would be worth looking into for your church or Christian Institution is the Library/Materials Rate which is extremel



What is personal and motivational (First Class)…war is impersonal and informative (Second, Third, and Fourth Class).

If you are trying to MOTIVATE a person, you need to use First Class Postage or an imitation thereof.

If you are trying to INFORM them, there is nothing to be gained in spending the money for a higher class
postage than the minimum necessary (except faster delivery if the information is of a time-value character).


A. Most effective is the First Class Commemorative stamp (this stamp should always take precedent over first class roll stamps).

B. Second in readership is the First Class Roll Stamp, Pre-Cancelled Stamp, and First Class Meter Postage. There is no substantial difference in the effect on the reader of these three types of postage.)

c. Third in readership is the Third Class Metered Postage. (You must own a postage machine with a special slug or have this done out.)


D. Last in readership potential are the Second or Third Class Printed Indicia.

Getting certain types of prospect mailings delivered on Tuesday can increase response substantially: Lead getting mailings, mailings designed to generate retail traffic or attendance at

free events and mailings that solicit applications for credit cards, loans and insurance often get much higher response (+15@ t@ 50%) when delivered on Tuesday, because Tuesday is the last mail is received. This is because the onJy first class mail received on Tuesday is that which was mailed over the weekend. About 65% of everything that goes through the postal system is first class and over 90% of first class mail is
invoices and invoice payments. Very few invoices are mailed on weekend days, so very few are received on Tuesday. Here is how the week’s mail volume is received by days-of-week.

Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.

Consumer Recipients

Business Recipients

Some types of mailings don’t especially benefit from Tuesday delivery. If you are selling a product directly via mail, especially if it’s relatively expensive, the buyer often needs a period of several days to make his decision. Therefore, the motivation to buy is less affected by the environment that existed at the instant he or she received your mailing piece. Response to catalog mailing for example, is rarely influenced by
day of receiFt. Very low ticket offers (up to $15) mailed to prospects benefit somewhat from Tuesday delivery (usually a 5%-15% improvement in response). Tuesday delivery does not help mailings to existing customers or mailinss that answer inquiries because these recipients will read your mailing piece regardless of the day’s mail volume. To get a national mailing delivered on Tuesday, entries must be
staggered according to distance from recipient. Or you can program for day of delivery by the use of color coded sack labels.



There is no charge for this permit. The words, “NONPROFIT ORG.” must be printed or rubber stamped adjacent to the stamp as shown below:




You can mail bulk one of the following three ways:


A permit to use permit imprints may be @btained with payment of a fee of $15.00. This is a one time charge and the permit is good indefinitely provided at least one mailing is made during any twelve consecutive months. ”

Form of Imprint: The imprint must be printed or handstamped is the upper right corner of the address side of each piece. Shown below is one of the approved


Permit No. —- EXHIBIT #1

payment of Postage: Payment to cover postage should be deposited at least 24 hours in advance of your mailing. Make deposits at the Main Post Office only. If deposit is mailed, give your permit number so that payment will be credited to the proper account. Make checks payable to the Postmaster. Your mail
will not be accepted if there is insufficient money deposit to pay for the entire mailing.


If the meter impression is placed directly on the mailing piece, do not include the date in meter stamp. If a meter tape is affixed to the mailing piece, the month and year mustbe shown, but the day may be omitted.

Full Rate Prepaid: If the full rate of postage (or more) is affixed to each piece, no special permit is required. The words, “NONPROFIT ORG.” must be shown in the meter impression.